Tata Steel Europe to invest 1.5 bn pound till 2015-16
New Delhi: Tata Steel will invest in excess of 1.5 billion pound (nearly Rs 13,000 crore) in its European operations till 2015-16 to spruce up its existing equipment and bring out new products, among others.
"We have given idea that over the five-year framework, we want to invest some two billion pounds in European unit. Last year, we invested 450 million pound," Tata Steel Europe CEO and Managing Director Karl-Ulrich Kohler said.
Kohler said the investment would go into sprucing up the equipment, gaining efficiency and getting into development of new products.
"We are doing investments not only in getting capability of the existing equipment and the compliance to the environment relations, but also into efficiency gains and into new product capabilities," he said.
The steel major, had earlier this month, said it plans to invest 400 million pound in the European operation during the current financial year to improve the performance of the unit and in areas which can provide quick returns.
The investments, coupled with a series of other measures including lay offs and production cut, is aimed at making Tata Steel Europe an "all-weather company", fit to sustain and withstand a much worse condition than the current one, he added.
"We have already taken some hard decisions and there are others to come. Tata Steel in Europe is on a clear strategy on how to improve our position in competition," he said, adding efforts would also be made to bring differentiated products.
Tata Steel's European unit (formerly known as Corus) has faced almost all through so far since it was acquired by the home-grown steel major in 2007. The financial crisis in the Euro-zone economies, which has led to subdued demand for last several quarters, was the main reason for the troubled time.
Kohler, however, does not see any positive change in the demand side even in the next fiscal.
"Forecast of demand is shrinkage of five percent this year and we have today no signs that the next year will be a better year. As far as our company, we are not waiting for that. Our move would be getting into selling everywhere," he said.
The company has given an additional thrust on exporting more to compensate the shortfall in Europe, particularly in the coastal geographies, including North African regions, the Mediterranean area and Africa.
It is even trying to complement Tata Steel's offerings in India with some special products from Europe.